Are Samsung QLED TVs Worth It?

Update Nov. 27: Looking for holiday deals? Follow our Best TV deals and Best Smart 4K TV deals for the best sales from now to the New Year.

Black Friday sales are all about great deals, and the biggest bargains that come to mind are usually TVs. A steep discount on a TV is bound to draw customers, and shoppers are likely to pick up full-price accessories, like HDMI cables and wall mounts. It's a smart play for retailers, but it also means that smart shoppers can score killer deals, with lower prices than you'll see at any other time of year.

One of the brands you'll see touted by stores is Samsung's QLED TVs, offered up with low prices. The picture quality is impressive, but is a QLED set for you?

Best QLED TV Deals Right Now

The biggest screens are getting the biggest price drops. Here's what you can buy now:

Should I buy a Samsung QLED TV?

The first thing you need to know about Samsung TVs is that all of them are LCD screens. "But wait," you cry, "I'm sure I saw a deal on a Samsung OLED TV!" Maybe you did, but it wouldn't be a current model, since Samsung got out of the OLED TV business years ago.

What Samsung offers is QLED, which stands for quantum-dot light-emitting diode. This technology uses quantum dots – a layer of nanoscale crystals that emit light and boost the color of a traditional LCD display panel. It's one of several technologies Samsung uses to produce highly optimized LCD TVs that approach OLED panels in display quality.

As a rule, you're pretty safe buying any of Samsung's QLED TVs. The quantum-dot technology is offered on models ranging from midtier to premium, and Samsung makes sure to equip its QLED TVs with great audio, a refined smart TV interface and an elegant cabinet design.

You'll also get them for the best prices during Black Friday and Cyber Monday week. Price drops of $500 are common, and some of the biggest models have seen prices tumble by $1,000 or more. For sharp-eyed shoppers, you can get a great QLED TV and still have enough left over to pick up some 4K Blu-rays to watch on it.

What are the differences?

First, there are plenty of commonalities between the different QLED TVs. They all use Samsung's excellent SmartThings smart TV platform, which includes a healthy app selection, a built-in voice assistant (Samsung's Bixby) and a refined interface that is easily navigated using the Samsung One Remote. It also gets Ambient Mode, a low-powered screen-saver mode that gives you a more attractive alternative to having a big black screen on your wall when you aren't watching a show.

Second, the Q-Series TVs benefit from some of the best external designs we've seen, thanks to Samsung's 360-degree approach. The back of the TV cabinet gets just as much attention from Samsung's designers as the front of the TV, with an attractive textured surface that looks good from any direction.

Finally, the QLED sets also use Samsung's One Remote, a sleek, wand-style remote that offers intuitive navigation and a minimalist design that doesn't leave you feeling like there's an important button missing.

But the specifics will vary from one model to the next. The Q9FN line gets all the bells and whistles, from an impeccable display to premium remote control and fancy connections. The Q8FN and Q7FN TVs get some premium features, but many of the finer elements are removed in favor of a lower price. You'll still get an excellent viewing experience, but some of the luxe touches are missing. The least expensive Q6FN models strip out many of the display enhancements that mark Samsung's best TVs, but the line still offers great smart TVs with strong 4K performance and a stylish design.

Q6FN

Samsung's Q6FN models are new in 2018 and offer the most affordable QLED sets Samsung has to offer. But to bring down the prices, Samsung has stripped out some of the best aspects of the better QLED models. Instead of full-array backlight and local dimming, it uses LED edge lighting. It avoids most of the haloing and backlight issues seen on backlit TVs, but if you were to compare it side by side with the Q9FN, you'd definitely see the difference.

The Q6FN also lacks the fancy anti-reflection filter, so there's more glare on the TV screen – but no more than there is on other TVs. And while it's got the same looks as the rest of the QLED series, the Q6FN has a slightly less convenient connector panel, and the remote control uses plastic construction instead of the metal used on the more expensive models.

But in the end, these are very minor complaints, and the Q6FN manages to be a great TV in its own right. In fact, it's currently our top pick for an OLED alternative: It manages to have excellent picture quality and an affordable price, even without all the bells and whistles Samsung offers on other models.

If you want an affordable way to go big, the Q6FN is available in both 82-inch and 75-inch sizes.

MORE: Our Favorite 4K (Ultra HD) TVs Available Now

The 82-inch model (QN82Q6FNAFXZA) sells for $3,799 normally, but Black Friday pricing has lowered prices to $2,999. The 75-inch QN75Q6FNAFXZA is seeing similar discounts for the holidays. With an original list price of $3,499, the 75-inch QLED is one of the best big-screen 4K TV bargains around, selling for $1,999 – a savings of more than one thousand dollars.

Samsung QN65Q6FNA 65-inch Q6FN QLED 4K UHD Smart TVView Deal

The 65- and 55-inch models are some of the best values on the market, and Black Friday pricing only makes them a better deal. The 65-inch model (QN65Q6FNAFXZA) launched with a price of $2,199 but has dropped as low as $1,299 in recent weeks. The 55-inch model (QN55Q6FNAFXZA) started at a reasonable $1,499 but is down to under a grand, with both Amazon and Best Buy offering it for $999. Both models offer an excellent value, delivering premium picture quality for around $1,000 – if you see them for less, you'll be getting it for a steal.

You can also get the Q6FN in a smaller 49-inch size, and it's currently selling for $200 off, letting you buy a great smaller smart TV for just $699 instead of the original $899 price. If you want something for a small apartment or want a compact TV for 4K gaming, the 45-inch QLED delivers outsized value, with full 4K resolution and an excellent smart TV experience for much, much less.

Credit: Tom's Guide

Q7FN and Q7C

For a solid midrange model, the Q7FN manages to give you most of the picture quality that makes the Q8FN and Q9FN lines so great, but for a lot less.

Samsung QN65Q7F 65-inch QLED 4K UHD 7 Series Smart TVView Deal

It's also the more affordable way to get Samsung's One Connect Box, and its nearly invisible single-cable connection, which is a real benefit for anyone who wants to wall mount the TV but hates seeing a tangle of cables snaking out from the back.

Credit: Samsung

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Q7 comes in three sizes, 75, 65 and 55 inches, and is also the last model line in Samsung's QLED TV lineup to offer curved displays, in 65- and 55-inch sizes.

While we don't recommend curved displays for most home entertainment uses – they're not good at all for enjoying a move with friends or family – they do offer improved immersion in single-user applications, like gaming.

Samsung QN65Q7C Curved 65-inch QLED 4K UHD 7 Series Smart TVView Deal

The curved Q7 models haven't seen large price drops the way the flat-panel models have, but Black Friday sales seem to be bringing down the prices. The 65-inch model (QN65Q7CNAFXZA) started out at $2,699 earlier this year, but current sales prices are down to $2,099 — a full $600 off the original price.

The 55-inch model (QN55Q7CNAFXZA) started at $1,999 and has stayed there unchanged through the year. Current Black Friday prices, however, knock $600 off the retail price, with both Amazon and Best Buy selling the curved QLED TV for $1,399.

Q8FN

The Q8FNs are the next step down from the Q9FN TVs, but they come in more sizes, with 55-, 65-, 75- and 82-inch models. The line drops the One Connect Box in favor of a standard collection of ports built into the chassis, and it has a slightly thicker overall design than the Q9FN. It still has full-array backlight and local dimming features, but with fewer dimming zones.

The 82-inch model (QN82Q8FNBFXZA) started at $5,499 when it came out earlier this year. In recent months, the retail price has dropped to $5,000, and now it's selling for $4,499. If you see the 82 incher at this price or lower, you can be confident you're getting the lowest price yet.

The 75-inch model (QN75Q8FNBFXZA) has had a similar price history, starting at $4,799, but the price dropped to $3,999 shortly after. This fall, the prices came down again, to $3,499, where it's been since mid-September. Anyone selling the 75-inch Q8FN at $3,500 or more isn't offering any sort of bargain, but if you see sales prices go lower, you'll want to get in on that deal while it lasts.

The 65-inch (QN65Q8FNBFXZA) and 55-inch (QN55Q8FNBFXZA) models are rated as some of the best TVs on the market today, earning top marks from both professional reviewers and satisfied customers.

The 65-inch (QN65Q8FNBFXZA) model originally listed for $2,999, but dropped to $2,800 soon after. Recent price drops, however, have taken the price as low as $2,299. It's possible that this model will dip below $2,000 during the holidays. If you see prices like that for the 65-inch model, snap it up, because those savings aren't likely to last.

MORE: QLED vs. OLED: What's the Difference?

The 55-inch QN55Q8FNBFXZA started at $2,199, but has recently been selling for as little as $1,499 through Best Buy and Amazon. That's a killer deal already, but to squeeze out even more value, watch for package deals that include other accessories.

Q9FN, the cream of the crop

At the top of the QLED totem pole is the Q9FN. This is the best Samsung has to offer, and in North America, it comes in three sizes: 65, 75 and 88 inches. (There is also a 55-inch model that's offered in the U.K., the QE55Q9FN.)

The Q9FN models get the best of everything, with top-of-the-line sound, brightness of up to 2,000 nits and full-array local dimming divided up into hundreds of dimming zones. Samsung further employs anti-blooming algorithms that cut down on the halos you'll often see with less precise local dimming.

The QLED technology is also at its peak, with the Q9FN models getting additional light filtering, anti-reflective technology and improved viewing angles. When it comes to LCD TVs, this is the closest anyone has gotten to OLED-level blacks, and it actually offers better color in many instances.

The Q9FN also uses Samsung's One Connect Box, which takes off all of the ports and inputs that are on the back of the TV and puts them into a box that can be situated in your home theater. It all connects over a single thin, nearly invisible cable, eliminating the clutter of having three to five black power and AV cables.

Samsung QN65Q9F 65-inch QLED 4K UHD 9 Series Smart TVView Deal

The standard model is the 65-inch QN65Q9FNAFXZA. While we haven't yet tested it in our labs, we were extremely impressed with what we saw when Samsung introduced the new models. The 65-incher originally sold for $3,799, but the latest price drops have brought it down to $2,997 at Amazon and $2,999 at Best Buy. If you see this model for anything less than $3,000, you can be confident you're getting the best price.

The 75-inch model (QN75Q9FNAFXZA) is bigger, and so is the price, but it still comes with everything that makes the Q9FN QLED TVs great. But the latest prices are perhaps the best feature. After several months of selling for the original price of $5,999, the 75-inch Q9FN has dropped to $4,999 – a full $1,000. While I might not expect the 75-inch model to come down further in price, you may see it pop up in bundle deals that throw in a soundbar or similar accessories. Any of these that stay near the $5,000 mark are a great deal, but anything over that is just building the cost of the package into the price of the TV.

The most expensive model is the 88-inch QN88Q9FAMFXZA, which sells for $19,999. While most current QLED TVs were introduced in 2018, the 88-inch behemoth is a carry-over from 2017. It still boasts the same quantum-dot technology and will offer a superb picture, but newer refinements may not be present at this size. While I didn't expect any sort of sales pricing for this largest and most premium model, Amazon is selling this 88-inch beast for $14,997 at the moment. If you want to go big, buying now can save you several thousand dollars.

Credit: Tom's Guide/Samsung